Higher Education Costs Going Up

(KCPW News) With higher education taking a hit in the 2012 budget approved by the Utah legislature, the costs are likely to be passed on to students. David Buhler, Associate Commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education, says schools have saved as much as they can over the past three years, but students will ultimately see the effect in their wallets.

“They’ve found ways to be more efficient, they used more adjuncts, they had larger class sizes, a combination of things to try to minimize the impact on the students,” said Buhler. “We’re soon running out of efficiencies we can do and still maintain quality. Some of those costs will have to be passed on to students.”

The University of Utah has already announced plans to raise tuition by 7 to 9 percent. Other schools will set their rates later this month.

Public education received an increase in funding this year, but Utah’s colleges and universities had no such luck.

“Obviously we would have liked to have seen our enrollment growth recognized as well, but we’re happy for public ed, obviously we’re big supporters of public education, but I’m sure we’ll be going after more next year,” Buhler says.

An initial proposed budget cut of 7 percent was eventually whittled down to 2 percent, but Buhler says that’s still an $18 million loss.